Friday, October 15, 2010

On Week 7 of Homeschooling

Tapestry of Grace
Year 1, Unit 1, Week 7
Raising Rock Stars Preschool
Letter of the Week
Letter Tt

Since we made A LOT of changes this week, and I only have one photo from our work for Tapestry of Grace for this week, I'll start with that before I dig into the rest of the week.

This week's study was about the Israelite's escape from Egypt, their time in the desert, the 10 commandments, and the Jewish festivals and feasts that are celebrated to remind them of their past.  

Lil Pumpkin continues to love the TOG lapbooks. 

Now about those changes: I switched up a lot of our homeschool set up and curriculum this week.  

Sweet Pea had been wanting to do more for school so I did some research and realized how much I really like Carisa's (1+1+1=1) Raising Rock Stars Preschool (RRSP) curriculum.  She is pretty much an incredible source of inspiration!  She has organized the letters by putting the ones which are easiest to write first.

We started with Letter T since it tied in with the 10 commandments that Lil Pumpkin was already studying and it was only skipping ahead one letter (we will go back to letter L at a later time).  Our circle time was spent learning the verse from RRSP, singing the theme song together ("The Perfect Ten"), and reading the devotional story for the letter T from My ABC Bible Verses (which we already happened to own). 

Sweet Pea really enjoyed cutting and gluing her Ten Commandments craft.

I tied in some of Carisa's lapbooks for "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" too.  I'm glad I had TWO copies of this book because our dog ate the board book. :(  I had another copy in paperback which I found at a bookstore in Delhi and picked it up because it is in English and Hindi.

We used our Melissa & Doug pattern shapes to make a butterfly after reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."

We also used Letter of the Week (LOTW) ideas from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler (who is also full of wonderfully helpful ideas!) 

A lot of the printables are reusable, so I either laminated them or stuck them in a page protector an  will file them away to use again in the future.  I labeled a large manila envelope with the letter Tt so I can find it quickly when I need to.

 The girls loved the turtle graphing!

The playdoh mat was another huge success.  I downloaded those from Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations who is yet another lady who can dish out the inspiration!  Then I put the printout into a page protector to keep the playdoh from sticking to it.

But I think the favorite activity for the week was the Do-a-Dot pages for the letter Tt (and blank paper too!)

I also decided to take over an entire wall in our dining area.  We needed a place to post all of our posters for RRSP and to implement our calendar.  So, since nobody was gonna stop me, I took over the wall.  {Next on my agenda to conquer is ----- my laundry (which is pretty tough when the washing machine is broken and has been for over a month!)!}  I digress.....

So, I have to just admit that my calendar plans are nearly a total copy-cat of Carisa's with a bit of tweaking to meet our needs.  She provides all of the printouts needed to make your own calendar board, wall, book, etc. (adapt it to whatever fits your needs)

A couple of things that I did not get from Carisa are the calendar itself and the skip counting chart.  Carisa uses a store bought calendar, but I'm a bit cheap and just printed my own from Mrs. Meacham's.  I printed the skip counting chart from Homeschool Creations.  I also chose to use sticky tack instead of the velcro dots because it's cheaper and I want to save my velcro dots for other uses since I can only get them if someone brings me more from the States! :)

The girls really love this part of our school time.  They enjoy the songs that we sing for the days of the week and the months.  I love that it keeps me accountable to teaching the days of the week, months of the year, skip counting, and a few other things that I wouldn't take the time to cover otherwise.

I thought this was a cool idea to give Lil Pumkin practice with US coins!  She makes the date using pennies, nickles, dimes, or quarters.  She made 15 for today's date using one nickle and one dime.  I had to help her, but I think she'll catch on after a bit of practice.

I thought about leaving this little folder out - Color of the Day - simply because both of the older girls know their colors pretty well.  But I thought it would be the perfect thing for Sugar Plum to do and be a part of our calendar time.  She felt like such a big girl!  And, is anyone really surprised that she chose pink?  She had help from her big sisters!

One of the other changes that we made was to implement our workbox system in a more permanent way.  I had tried to do this in a temporary way while we were on Stateside last year, but this is so much better!

I downloaded the tags from Spell Outloud and Mama Jenn, cut them out for Lil Pumpkin's tags with a Stampin' Up 1 3/4" circle punch that I borrowed from Connie while we were in the States last year and used the scallop punch for Sweet Pea's tags, and then laminated them.  I went with velcros dots this time for sticking them on the containers so they can be easily removed and then placed on their strips as they complete their work from each box.

Lil Pumpkin's work is on the first shelf, the Sweet Pea's.  Sugar Plum's got activities to keep her occupied on the bottom shelf within her reach.  Completed work goes in the white basket on top of the shelves. We also keep extra pencils, pencil sharpeners, stick tack, hole punch, tape, and a stapler in the green basket on top so we don't have to go hunt these things down in the middle of a teaching session!

Lil Pumpkin likes to see what work she has left and looks forward to her favorite subject - which right now is, of course, history. 

I'm planning to write another post soon about what curriculum we are using and what our daily schedule looks like.

How was your school week?

Check out what others did this week at Homeschool Creations' Preschool Corner.
You can also see how other families have implemented Raising Rock Stars Preschool Letter T.


  1. Thanks for sharing what you're doing. I have needed some help with Jude in Pre-k, and tihs is helping me out so much!
    I've been checking out Tapestry of Grace. I like it, but it's only four years, so does it go to 3rd grade? Or do you start it anytime, and only do it for four years? I couldn't find the details on the sight.

  2. Found your blog through the Preschool Corner over at Homeschool Creations. I am now following your blog. Looks like you had a great week.

  3. I need to try the playdoh mats with my dd, she would love that.

    I found your blog at Homeschool Creations.

  4. Looks like you had a great week! Love all the hands on activities.

    I'm curious to see how TOG works in your homeschool {I'll try to check back next week}

    Hope you have a great week!

  5. Lots of fun stuff this week! Love how you have everything organized. It's always fun to see how people use Cassie's tags :)

  6. Everything looks fantastic! Don't you love Jolanthe, Carisa and Erica? Glad it was a good week.

  7. Amy - TOG is sort of recycled every four years. It is classical, so it is organized around 4 periods of history and at each learning stage. You can start with any period in history (Year 1, 2, 3, or 4) and start at the level your kids need (Lower Grammar, Upper Grammar, Rhetoric, Dialect).

    So, for instance, when Sweet Pea starts TOG in 3 years, Lil Pumpkin will have already completed Years 1, 2, and 3 so Sweet Pea will join us in Year 4, on the Lower Grammar level while Lil Pumpkin will be at the Upper Grammar level by then.

    Does that make sense????

    Feel free to ask more questions!

  8. What a great week! I love all of the activities! The wall looks great!

  9. I have been thinking about checking out carisa's calendar wall I just haven't gotten to it quite yet...looks like a great week. Now following!


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